Nadia, a Primary 5 student from Telok Kurau Primary School, has tremendous passion for soccer and she is blessed with some unique talents. Apart from playing in the school team, she also plays for the F-17 Academy and Girls Soccer Academy. She takes on the role of a defensive midfielder. This is her story.
I receive excellent support at home for my soccer passion and activities. The support helps because as a result, I can balance my soccer practice and studies well. I have a younger brother who is currently studying in Primary 4. I think he finds me cool because he can kick soccer balls with his sister. I can’t describe how much I love playing soccer but my goal is to become a skilful international player in the future.
How did you start playing soccer?
Since young, I loved watching soccer. I grew up with my grandparents who loved watching soccer on television. I also get to watch soccer matches. My curiosity about the game deepened when my parents travelled overseas to enjoy a good game of soccer. This tempted me to start playing soccer on my own. I was asked to select between a game of soccer and taekwondo when I was in Primary 2. I selected soccer without hesitation and later, seeing my interest and talent, my father enrolled me in a soccer academy.
Is it a challenge to play a male-dominated sport?
It was initially challenging, but I believed nothing can stop us if we put in effort and hard work. I trained harder and got rid of the difficulties. The key is to never fear and I’m proud of what I have achieved.
What is your training schedule?
I go for soccer trainings on Monday and Thursday. I train with the FAS Under12 development team on Wednesday evenings. On some Sundays, I take part in ESPZEN league with some boys from my academy.
How do you manage training and studies?
I balance my studies and training because both are equally important to me. Therefore, I work according to a timetable and allocate time for training and homework. If I feel that I cannot stick to the timetable on a specific day, I will adjust it on the following day and catch up on the work that I have missed.
What changes did you introduce to your lifestyle?
I stick to a special healthy diet and ensure that I have at least 8 hours of sleep because it helps me to recover after training. The combination of good diet and rest has helped me maintain good stamina and health. Soccer has also helped me to gain a positive mindset, which has changed my lifestyle up to a great extent. It definitely helps that my parents, who are also my number 1 fan, gave me unconditional support and encouragement.
Who is your role model?
Alex Morgan from the United States is my role model. She is one of the most talented female soccer players and she had won the 2012 Olympics and 2015 World Cup. She is a role model to every female soccer player.
Any advice to younger students who are interested in soccer?
To excel and continue your passion in any field, be disciplined and responsible to your time and studies. Never get disappointed because every hurdle and failure will make you a stronger person.